`Cadillac' stalls, but start perfect

Buccaneers 17 Lions 13

Week Four

October 03, 2005

Tampa, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers knew it was only a matter of time before opponents started stacking the line of scrimmage in hopes of slowing down Carnell "Cadillac" Williams.

The Detroit Lions were successful at it yesterday, but containing the rookie also left them vulnerable to other playmakers in an improved offense that's helped the Bucs to their first 4-0 start since 1997.

With Williams slowed by a sore hamstring, Joey Galloway and Michael Pittman took up the slack and Tampa Bay's defense stopped a march deep in their territory to hang on for a 17-13 victory.

"We have all kinds of weapons," Pittman said. "Cadillac started off great the first three games. He was hurt today and really wasn't 100 percent, but we still went out there and played."

Galloway scored on an 80-yard reception and Brian Griese also threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Pittman, a starter the previous three seasons whose role in the offense has diminished since the arrival of Williams.

"I need to make the most of it when I can," said Pittman, who had six receptions for 96 yards and ran five times for a team-high 30 yards.

The Lions had trouble moving the ball on offense all day, but Joey Harrington led a drive from his own 7 to the Tampa Bay 11 in the last five minutes.

Detroit (1-2) thought it would escape with a victory when Harrington found Marcus Pollard in the right corner of the end zone, but the tight end's sliding catch was reversed by instant replay.

Harrington found Mike Williams on the opposite side of the end zone on the next play, but the rookie came down out of bounds. The fourth-year quarterback had one more chance but overthrew Roy Williams on the last play of the game.

Cadillac Williams, the first player in NFL history to begin his career with three consecutive 100-yard days rushing, was held to 13 yards on 11 carries. He left the game late in the third quarter and did not return.

"Everything is OK. He had a mild hamstring," Bucs coach Jon Gruden said, noting that Williams also was limited in practice during the week because of a foot sprain.

Griese threw for 302 yards and made up for three turnovers that set up all of Detroit's points with his touchdown throws to Pittman and Galloway, who had seven receptions for a career-high 166 yards.

Detroit 0 10 0 3-13

Tampa Bay 3 7 7 0-17

First quarter TB-FG Bryant 43, 7:59.

Second quarter Det-FG Hanson 44, 11:30. Det-K.Jones 8 run (Hanson kick), 4:58. TB-Pittman 41 pass from Griese (Bryant kick), 1:12.

Third quarter TB-Galloway 80 pass from Griese (Bryant kick), 14:05.

Fourth quarter Det-FG Hanson 23, 7:29. A-64,994.

Det TB

First downs 11 17

Total Net Yards 226 353

Rushes-yards 25-91 22-69

Passing 135 284

Punt Returns 3-25 3-15

Kickoff Returns 3-33 2-29

Interceptions Ret. 3-87 0-0

Comp-Att-Int 15-27-0 22-39-3

Sacked-Yards Lost 2-2 3-18

Punts 6-42.8 3-46.7

Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1

Penalties-Yards 8-55 7-55

Time of Possession 28:25 31:35 Rushing-Detroit, K.Jones 12-38, Pinner 6-28, Bryson 3-13, Harrington 4-12. Tampa Bay, Pittman 5-30, Graham 4-15, C.Williams 11-13, Griese 1-7, Gallway 1-4. Passing-Detroit, Harrington 15-27-0-137. Tampa Bay, Griese 22-39-3-302. Receiving-Detroit, R.Williams 3-54, M.Williams 3-22, K.Johnson 2-15, Pinner 2-11, Pollard 2-5, Rogers 1-15, Fitzsimmons 1-11, Bryson 1-4. Tampa Bay, Galloway 7-166, Pittman 6-96, Clayton 2-11, Becht 2-9, Alstott 2-7, C.Williams 2-6, A.Smith 1-7. Missed field goals-Tampa Bay, Bryant 46 (WR).

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